Traditional ale house play comes to the town’s pubs for an annual performance by the March Mummers

March Mummers entertain

March Mummers entertain - Credit: Archant

The March Mummers are planning to meet up with a group of Santas as they travel around town performing their short play on Saturday December 17.

The local performance group will be catching up with the Santa Cruise members who moor their boats at Floods Ferry Marina and come into town each year to have a celebratory drink at The Ship.

Paul Wing, landlord of The Ship said: “We love having the Santa Cruise and the March Mummers visiting us each year. They get us into the mood for Christmas.”

Since 2011 the March Mummers have entertained audiences in local hostelries and coffee mornings, in the run up to Christmas.

They aim to have fun while raising money for local charities.


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This year the Mummers will be collecting for a locally based charity, Care Network, who will then allocate the money to organisations supporting socially isolated and vulnerable persons in the March area.

Since they formed the group, the March Mummers have raised more than £750 which has been given to Open Door (£203), Eddies (£226), East Anglian Children’s Hospice (£188), MENCAP (£100), and FACET (£51).

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The group will be performing their short play at The Friends of March Library Coffee Morning (about 11.30am), The Acre (about noon), Ye Olde Griffin Hotel (about 12.45pm) and The Ship (about 1.30pm).

A mummers’ play is a traditional entertainment that usually involves St George and a fight with The Devil (Beelzebub) or some other character, after which The Doctor is called to bring the fallen back to life again.

The play used to be a regular winter pastime in the eighteenth and nineteenth century.

Plough boys would take the play around the pubs and large houses and, after the performance; contributions would be requested from the audiences.

The performers are Marcus Phillips (as King George), Rodney Crabb (Beelzebub), Stuart Broad (The Doctor), Malcolm Busby (The Fool), Mike Thomas (Jack) and Steve Cornell (Dame Jane), plus musician (Keith Cheale).

The mummers are also accompanied by Max & Jago Phillips (as baby dragons) plus Kathy Cornell, Christine Crabb and Lizzie Owen (as the comely highway-women/ collectors).

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